From CPGE to the GED

After three years in High school, most Students do not really know what their career will be. Of course Teachers try to help, but having a vocation at that age is very rare. In most cases, students just choose the subjects in which they are told they will be good at, and then try to integrate a Classe préparatoire aux Grandes Ecoles because it is supposed to be the best way to have a good job.

Once you have been admitted in one of these prestigious schools, it can be difficult to move to a different field. Particularly regarding Law studies, since there is no official equivalence between such “Grandes écoles” and Law. Moreover going to University can be seen as a failure.

However the Grande Ecole de Droit offers quite a unique opportunity. Indeed it allows students to join after two years of CPGE directly as a second year student after passing an exam based on the first year courses in Law.

Alexis Corlay (here at the 2014 GED Integration Day) went from being a CPGE to a GED student

Alexis Corlay (here at the 2014 GED Integration Day) went from being a CPGE to a GED student

Furthermore, the Grande Ecole de Droit is quite a special Degree within the University and bears a striking resemblance with CPGE.

Indeed whereas the University is often seen as a place where students are kind of left to themselves because they are in an amphitheater with hundreds of other students they do not really know, the Grande Ecole de Droit is composed of little promotions of around 25 to 30 students.

Moreover the Grande Ecole de Droit gets a very active student life including an integration week-end, promotion, trips all around the world… which allows us to build a strong team spirit.

But if the Grande Ecole de Droit has invaluable assets, following it is no small feat. You must be highly motivated if you want to adapt to this new situation and understand the legal vocabulary (pretty harsh for uninitiated students).

But what most surprised me, apart from the difficulty of the courses or the level required, is the written examination format. In CPGE students are used to very long exams (around 6 hours) where they have plenty of time to think in order to organize their ideas. On the contrary, in Law studies it is a very small examination format of three hours for academic dissertations or comments. And I have to admit that it can be pretty disturbing, for example the first time, after two hours and a half, I had barely done the plan of my legal commentary!

Despite that, joining the Grande Ecole de Droit this way is far from impossible and I really think that, if one is interested in Business and International Law, joining the Grande Ecole de Droit after a CPGE is undoubtedly the best choice one can make.

Stay tuned!

PS: If you want to join this field, forget your traditional three-part plan and convert to a binary approach.

By Alexis Corlay